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Here are some of the most notable aviation trends set to make an impact on the industry next year:
• The use of artificial intelligence in aviation is set to balloon at a compound annual growth rate of 46.4% between now and 2023, which is likely to impact all areas of the industry.
• Digital in-flight shopping solutions such as SKYdeals and AirFree may start to put duty-free trolleys out of action from 2019.
• With favourable new FAA regulations and rapid technological development, heads-up displays (HUDs) are likely to grow rapidly in popularity among pilots during 2019.
• Hainan Province may offer a glimpse into the future of China’s aviation industry. The government here has agreed to provide unrestricted Internet access and lift all restrictions on foreign aviation investment.
• Saudi airline flyadeal is weighing up whether to order 30 narrowbody Airbus A320neos or Boeing 737 MAXs in a deal that will influence the financial performance of both over the coming year.
• Air Europa has expanded its order of 22 Boeing 787-9s (a deal worth $3.5 billion) by an additional five aircraft. The 12 aircraft now on order are set for delivery between now and 2022.
• American Airlines has just completed a $705 million deal for 15 new Embraer E175, bringing the total number of E175s ordered by the airline to 104. The aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2020.
• Emirates may decide to cancel its remaining order of Airbus A380s due to a disagreement between the manufacturer and Rolls Royce, who designs and manufactures A380 engines.
• In India, IndiGo has increased the number of Airbus A321neo aircraft it’s set to receive from 25 to 150. This has been offset by a reduction of 125 in the number of A320neos the airline is due to receive.
• The realities of Brexit will finally take hold in 2019, which risks causing disruption in a variety of ways. However, Wizz Air has set out its plan to take advantage of the turbulence.
• Ailing airline FlyBe has been in talks concerning a potential takeover, with Virgin Atlantic emerging as the most likely contender. Cardiff Airport, in particular, could suffer should the airline go under.
• Following Icelandair’s purchase of rival low-cost carrier Wow Air, 2019 will show whether this “marriage of convenience” will bear fruit, or reflect the negative performance of tourism in Iceland.
• European aviation has outstripped growth predictions this year, and this trend appears likely to continue. However, the aviation skills shortage could start to apply the brakes here.
• The air freight industry is likely to see a boost due to the increasing popularity of next or same-day delivery among online shoppers.
• With Emirates and American Airlines among the latest to introduce ‘premium economy’ options, this model is set to experience a boom (at the expense of traditional ‘business class’ capacity).
So much is forecast to occur across the industry during 2019. But, keeping these aviation trends top-of-mind during 2019 will stand you in good stead for the year ahead.
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